Global warming isn’t just about flooding – it could reach temperatures deadly to humans
Reasonable worst-case scenarios for global warming could lead to deadly temperatures for humans incoming centuries, according to research findings from Purdue University and the University of New South Wales, Australia.
Researchers for the first time have calculated the highest tolerable “wet-bulb” temperature and found that this temperature could be exceeded for the first time in human history in future climate scenarios if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate.
Wet-bulb temperature is equivalent to what is felt when wet skin is exposed to moving air. It includes temperature and atmospheric humidity and is measured by covering a standard thermometer bulb with a wetted cloth and fully ventilating it.
The researchers calculated that humans and most mammals, which have internal body temperatures near 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, will experience a potentially lethal level of heat stress at wet-bulb temperature above 95 degrees sustained for six hours or more, said Matthew Huber, the Purdue professor of earth and atmospheric sciences who co-authored the paper that will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Full article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100504155413.htm